The 10 key levers of influence

141a8497-7a37-43da-b756-66f99df7945eIf you want to get traction at work and progress, you need to be able to influence. The good news is there are skills and techniques you can learn to master this craft.

Here’s ten tips to get you started.

1.  Understand yourself

Examine the mindset you are applying to your work and relationships.  Letting assumptions drive your thought processes, and ultimately behaviour, can negatively impact your decision making and interactions with colleagues and stakeholders.

2.  Understand others

Take the time to understand what intrinsically motivates those around you.  Having insight into others better enables you to work with them, and encourage and inspire them to secure common goals.

3.  Understand the system

Know the system in which the organisation operates, and how the players inter-relate, make decisions, and secure outcomes. By understanding how the system works you are better able to navigate the complexity and find your way through the back door.

4.  Maintain your integrity

Integrity once lost is almost impossible to regain. Guard it carefully and push beyond self-interest. Seek to play the better game in discussions and advocate positions that are not self-serving, but serve the greater good.

5.  Get busy, on purpose

Influential people get things done. Be deliberate about how you use your time. Be decisive in how you make decisions. And lastly, be determined in the face of set-backs.

6.  Play the long game

Seek to secure long term, constructive relationships that are mutually beneficial. One sided relationships – where it’s all about one person – don’t last. One person will eventually walk away. 

7.  Design your network

Be conscious about how you build your network. Identify relationship gaps and weaknesses, and put a plan in place to address.

8.  Lead consciously

Be conscious of your actions and how they are seen by other people.  Inconsistencies in what you say and do are easily seen by others. Your leadership is constantly on display, and remember that leadership isn’t defined by hierarchy.

9.  Craft your communication

It’s not how much you talk, but what you say that matters. Ground your messages in reality and what people need to know. Keep it simple. Be empathetic, authentic and transparent.

10.  Negotiate wisely

Strive to secure outcomes that leave all involved with their dignity intact.  Build the necessary relationships early.  Be ready for the negotiation process, and have the resolve to see it through.

Remember – change happens.  Make it work for you.

P.S.  If you want to know how to apply these steps, then enrol in one of my masterclasses, which are held in Sydney and Melbourne each month.

About the Author

Michelle Gibbings is the author of Step Up: How to build your influence at work.  She is known for making the complex, simple.  She helps people to think more deliberately, act with greater purpose and accelerate progress by understanding the art and science of human behaviour.

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